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Phillies players were playing ‘Fortnite’ in clubhouse during games last year

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Jeff Passan of ESPN has a story this morning about the overhaul of the clubhouse culture Philadelphia Phillies for 2019. Why the need for the overhaul? Because last year guys were “doing their own thing.” The kind of thing they were doing: leaving the dugout during games to play “Fortnite.”

When Gabe Kapler told his guys to “get their grind on,” this was probably not what he had in mind.

The best part: when then-Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana saw this going down in the middle of a nine-game losing streak toward the end of last September he grabbed a bat, went into the clubhouse and smashed the TV to get his teammates to knock that crap off.

While it’s suggested in the story that this was not a common thing — guys did it maybe a couple of times — the incident itself is not denied by anyone, nor is the notion that, due to Gabe Kapler’s hands-off managerial style, players not paying attention to games was not uncommon. The rest of the story has Kapler, Jake Arrieta and others on the 2019 Phillies talking about how the club plans to approach things differently this season.

I realize it was the end of the year and that, within days of the incident all the players and beat writers went their separate ways, but I’m kinda shocked this wasn’t reported until now. Seems like the sort of thing that would get out. Oh well.

In other news, if the Rays continue to lowball Blake Snell going forward, you have to figure Philly would be on his short list:

 

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.